Do you love garage sales?

It’s Saturday! Did you go garage saling this morning? I love garage sales, and I’m lucky to live in an area where they happen all year ’round.

For the uninitiated, “garage sales” are also known as yard sales, rummage sales, and sometimes tag sales. People who enjoy garage sales often also frequent, estate sales, flea markets and antique malls. The prices are typically best at garage sales though, because it doesn’t really cost people anything to put stuff they don’t want out in their driveway to see if people will pay them for the priviledge of hauling it off. Obviously dumpster diving and “curb alerts” (free stuff on the curb right before trash day) are slightly cheaper (aka free), but sorting through other people’s garbage can be messy and time consuming. At least at a garage sale, the owner of the stuff has to sit there and talk to you while you’re rummaging through their belongings, so they’re more likely to wipe off the sticky stuff before you pick it up.

People who garage sale (yes, that’s a verb) have preferred strategies for getting the best deals, whether they’re buying or selling. For example, if you’re moving and down-sizing, your best bet would be to start your sale on Thursday morning to attract commercial buyers who buy entire lots for their stores or flea market booths. If you’re selling kids toys and clothes, you definitely want to be open on Saturday morning. Either way, you need to list that information on craigslist in your city. Why? Because there are apps like Yard Sale Treasure Map that use Craigslist to make it easier for people to find sales. If you’re shopping for specific or larger items, Friday is your best bet and look for moving sales and estate sales. If you’re just randomly looking for steals, go later on Saturday when sellers are panicking about having to put their stuff back in the garage – they’re more likely to just let you have it so you’ll haul it off for them.

Some of my favorite things to shop for at garage sales are Coca-Cola collectibles and picture frames. Of course when I pull up to the garage sale, I pretend I’m looking for something else entirely but just “might” be willing to take that pair of framed paint-by-number velvet Elvis pieces off their hands for the right price. There’s no need to insult anyone by telling the original owner I just really want the frame, and  I’m going to replace their precious Elvis heirlooms with my own artwork.

For me, garage saling is a form of therapy, and I practice it the way some people practice yoga or meditation. I love the process of finding something ugly that is no longer wanted and restoring or refurbishing it to  create something beautiful and very desirable out of it.

Anyway, garage saling – you either get it or you don’t. For those of us who do, here’s a collection of designs I created to honor the tradition. These are available on a variety of products on your favorite print-on-demand sites. Search @jennspoint, or visit my shop page for links.

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